It’s a Pacific Division clash in the Valley of the Sun. The Los Angeles Lakers are on the road again as they travel to face the Phoenix Suns Monday night. Los Angeles was on the road Saturday night as they faced the Bucks, losing 98-90 for their third straight defeat. Phoenix was in action Saturday night at home against the Timberwolves and snapped a five game skid with a 118-110 win. The Lakers have a 137-105 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams and have won two straight meetings, including a 132-130 home win in the first matchup this season on October 20.
Los Angeles Lakers Look to Beat Suns for Third Straight Game
Los Angeles battled but couldn’t come up with the win over the Bucks as they lost their third straight contest. The Lakers cut a seven point deficit after the first quarter to two at the half but couldn’t dig itself out of the hole. Los Angeles shot 41.9 percent from the field and went 6 of 22 from three point range in the contest. The Lakers were hurt by 21 turnovers and missed 15 of their 37 free throw attempts in the game. Kyle Kuzma led Los Angeles with 21 points plus 11 rebounds while Lonzo Ball posted a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists to become the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double at 20 years, 15 days.
The Lakers are 19th in the league in scoring offense as they put up 103.5 points per game. Los Angeles is 6th in rebounding with 46.5 per contest and 16th in assists with 21.9 per game. The Lakers stand 18th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 106.8 points per night. Brook Lopez is manning the middle in his first year with the team, contributing a team-leading 15.3 points plus 4.4 rebounds per contest. Brandon Ingram averages 14.5 points per game while Jordan Clarkson chips in 14.8 points a night. Lonzo Ball adds 9.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game, Larry Nance Jr. averages 10.6 points plus 7.5 boards but is out four to six weeks after surgery for a broken thumb while Kyle Kuzma is good for 15.2 points plus 6.8 rebounds a contest. Julius Randle, Luol Deng, Corey Brewer and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are going to be key for coach Luke Walton’s group. The Lakers are tied for 13th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 45.7 percent as a team. Los Angeles is 30th in the league with 6.8 triples per game while standing 30th in three point shooting at 28.9 percent from downtown.
Phoenix Suns Try to Get Back on Track
Phoenix snapped a five-game streak as their offense did enough to pick up the victory at home. The Suns now try to avenge that two point loss to the Lakers last month. Phoenix trailed by nine after the opening quarter and still was down three entering the fourth quarter before outscoring the Timberwolves 33-22 in the final 12 minutes. The Suns shot a hot 53.5 percent from the field in the contest and hit 10 of 26 from three-point range. Phoenix’s good shooting helped them overcome 18 turnovers and missing eight of 24 free throws. TJ Warren and Devin Booker each had 35 points in the win for the Suns.
The Suns are 14th in the league in scoring with an average of 107 points per game. The Suns are 9th on the glass by collecting 45.7 boards per game. Phoenix stands last in the league in assists with 18.1 per contest. Phoenix is last in the league in scoring defense as they allow 116.2 points a night. TJ Warren chips in 18.4 points plus 5.9 boards a night from the small forward spot. Devin Booker puts up a team high 22.3 points plus four assists per game and will be the focal point of the offense for the foreseeable future. Big men Marquese Chriss, Alex Len, Greg Monroe and Alan Williams along with Tyler Ulis, Mike James (12.4 points, 3.9 assists), rookie Josh Jackson and Jared Dudley have to contribute for Phoenix to have any kind of success. The Suns are 26th in the league in field goal percentage at 44 percent so far. The Suns are 26th in three pointers per game with 8.6 per contest. Phoenix is tied for 25th in three point percentage as they splash only 33.6 percent of their chances from long range.
- Lakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games
- Lakers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Monday games
- Suns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win
- Suns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Western Conference
The Lakers are struggling right now as they couldn’t come up with enough plays to beat the Bucks. Poor shooting did them in, especially at the free throw line, against Milwaukee. Phoenix picked up the win over Minnesota at home to snap their five-game losing skid and will try to make it two in a row here. The Suns got big production from Warren and Booker against the Timberwolves and will look to build on that here. Phoenix should do enough to get a win here at home to make it two straight.